Preview: Vancouver look to get back on track vs. Colorado
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs COLORADO RAPIDS
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
September 23, 2012 (WEEK 29, MLS Game #282)
4:30 p.m. PT (SNET Pac; Altitude)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC return home aiming to put a halt to a long losing slide in a crucial match in the Western Conference when they play host to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC saw their current skid extended to five games last weekend, concluding their long road swing with a 1-0 loss at FC Dallas, leaving them just a point clear for the final playoff spot. The Rapids are 10 points out of the last playoff spot after their 2-0 loss at the LA Galaxy in their last contest.
REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Darren Clark; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Duliba; 4th: Paul Ward
MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 2.3; R: 0; pens: 0
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – DOUBTFUL: FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Andy O'Brien (R adductor strain)
- COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); FW Edu (R foot contusion); MF Davy Armstrong (personal medical issue); QUESTIONABLE: FW Tony Cascio (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: FW Omar Cummings (R ankle soreness); FW Conor Casey (R knee soreness)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Darren Mattocks, Dane Richards, Alain Rochat … COL: Tyson Wahl
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Martin Bonjour, Jun Marques Davidson, Jay DeMerit, Gershon Koffie … COL: Jaime Castrillon, Jeff Larentowicz, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Martin Rivero
- ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 4 goals … Rapids 2 wins, 4 goals … Ties 0
- AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals … Rapids 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
6/16: VAN 1, COL 0 (Le Toux 80)
7/4: COL 0, VAN 1 (Mattocks 43)
- The teams met twice in a span of three weeks earlier this season, Whitecaps FC winning 1-0 both times. Sebastien Le Toux scored the lone goal in the June 16 win in Vancouver, then Darren Mattocks provided the margin of victory July 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- The Rapids won both meetings in Vancouver’s inaugural season, winning 2-1 both at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and at BC Place.
- Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. COL: P2 W2 L0 T0 … Oscar Pareja vs. VAN: P2 W0 L2 T0
- The game's lone goal came after 43 minutes. A seemingly harmless ball came from Jordan Harvey, but Rapids center back Drew Moor saw his poorly hit clearance deflect straight to the feet of Darren Mattocks, who slotted home from the heart of the area.
- Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon was called upon to make six saves in keeping the clean sheet.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Hunter Freeman (Edu 72), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon (Jamie Smith 63) - Omar Cummings (Tony Cascio 61), Conor Casey.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Alain Rochat, Gershon Koffie - Barry Robson (Sebastien Le Toux 57), Darren Mattocks, Davide Chiumiento (Michael Nanchoff 85) - Eric Hassli (Camilo 72).
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC had their losing streak extended to five games in the cruelest of fashions, FC Dallas scoring with literally the game’s final kick for a 1-0 victory Saturday evening in Frisco. Whitecaps FC are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 29 games.
HIGHLIGTS: DAL 1, VAN 0
- FC Dallas had a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the 16th minute, as Martín Bonjour pulled down Matt Hedges in the box on a free kick and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. David Ferreira stepped up to take the penalty kick, but Whitecaps FC 'keeper Brad Knighton brilliantly saved the effort.
- The game's only goal came as six minutes of stoppage time were just seconds away from expiring. FCD’s Julian de Guzman chested down a cleared Fabián Castillo corner kick and lashed a volley from outside the area past Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton to secure a vital victory.
- Knighton had made two saves to keep Vancouver in the match until the final blow, while FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was credited with one save.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made four changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Lee Young-Pyo came into the back four and Gershon Koffie, Alain Rochat and Camilo came into the midfield, in place of Matt Watson, Jun Marques Davidson, Dane Richards and Russell Teibert.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Knighton - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Alain Rochat - John Thorrington, Barry Robson (Matt Watson 86), Camilo (Russell Teibert 80) - Kenny Miller (Darren Mattocks 61).
24 Under 24: Mattocks comes in at No. 1
- Whitecaps FC now lead FC Dallas by just a single point in the race for fifth place in the Western Conference and the final playoff spot. The game against Colorado will be the game-in-hand Vancouver has over Dallas.
- “We have our destiny in our own hands in terms of getting ourselves into the playoffs, which is what our main goal is,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “It’s a big step for our club to get ourselves into the playoffs, that’s what we’re working so hard to do, and we feel good about where we are, although we’re disappointed with the result.”
- Whitecaps FC snapped a string of four consecutive games where they allowed two goals, but for the fourth time in the five-game losing slide, they were shut out on the attacking end.
- “I think the confidence is there, you saw it,” said Rennie. “We played well, we had a lot of good possession of the ball, clearly some good chances, on another night, could have won the game. Confidence to me isn’t the issue.”
- The game at FC Dallas was the final of a four-game road swing for Whitecaps FC, all defeats, of course. They now return to BC Place for four consecutive home matches. Vancouver is 7-2-4 at home; 3-10-3 on the road.
- “We’ve had nine games out of the last 13 on the road, so a lot of games on the road, and I’ll have to reintroduce myself to my kids and see if they remember me, but it will be nice to be home and we’re going to be back at B.C. Place in front of our incredible fans,” said Rennie. “We need them to absolutely unite behind us. We’re trying to be the first Canadian team ever to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs and it’s a big task. It seems very, very hard to get over that line.”
- Said Jay DeMerit: “We’ve got four games at home out of the next five and we control our destiny still, so that’s all you can say for now. We’ve just got to keep going as a group. We all know there’s five more games left in this league and we still control our destiny. We’ve got to make sure we take control of that. We own the opportunity that comes in front of us.”
- Goalkeeper Brad Knighton started his second consecutive match, and Rennie indicated he will likely again be between the posts at the start of the Colorado match.
- “We have a good run of games coming up at home the next four games,” said Knighton. “We’ve got to take maximum points from all of them. We’re fine. Our mentality was a lot better than it has been the last couple of weeks. We’re awfully confident. You know, it’s in our hands to lose.”
- After two games out of the Whitecaps FC team, Gershon Koffie returned to the midfield. He was partnered in a holding role by Alain Rochat, who made his first start in the position since mid-July.
- After missing his first league match of the season, Lee Young-Pyo returned to the lineup at his usual right back. John Thorrington moved forward to the right side of midfield vs. FC Dallas.
- “I was happy with it. I thought he did a good job against Brek Shea. I didn’t think too many balls came in from his side,” said Rennie.
The Colorado Rapids returned to the road and suffered another loss, this time falling to a 2-0 decision to the LA Galaxy on Friday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Rapids are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 29 points from 29 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: LA 2, COL 0
- The Galaxy took a 15th-minute lead on a neat passing sequence. Marcelo Sarvas played a give-and-go with Sean Franklin on the right flank, then squared the ball toward Robbie Keane. He dummied the ball for Landon Donovan, who played a quick through ball to the heart of the box and Keane easily side-footed past Rapids 'keeper Matt Pickens.
- Christian Wilhelmsson made his Major League Soccer debut one to remember, after a Sarvas long ball found him racing behind Colorado's backline in the 58th minute. He spun around to avoid two defenders at the top of the box, then fired low from 20 yards off the hands of the outstretched Pickens for the second Galaxy goal.
- Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made no changes to the side that defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens - Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Luis Zapata - Jeff Larentowicz (Brian Mullan 74), Hendry Thomas - Jaime Castrillon, Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio (Omar Cummings 41) - Andre Akpan (Conor Casey 63).
Last Call: VAN-COL at #4 in weekend's top matches
- The Rapids have lost nine consecutive games on the road, the club record. Their last points away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park came in a 2-0 win at FC Dallas on May 6. The MLS record for consecutive road losses is 16, set by Kansas City in 1998-99.
- “We didn‘t have it in that first 15 minutes. If one person doesn’t move, it affects the unit as a whole. We have to make sure we keep our line,” Rapids defender Tyrone Marshall said. “We have a home field advantage. It’s always a little different on the road, that’s the way it is in MLS.”
- For just the second time this season, Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja ran out the same team in back-to-back matches. Just as on the first occasion, the July 4 meeting with Vancouver, the Rapids suffered a defeat in the second match.
- “I thought the team played really well against Portland, and we’re looking for consistency with the team,” Pareja said. “I thought the first 15 minutes of the first half were very poor. We didn’t have intensity and I think that set the tone for the game.”
- After missing the second Portland match with knee pain, Conor Casey came off the substitutes’ bench for the final 27 minutes.
- Omar Cummings also came off the bench, for a second time in the last three games, coming on for Tony Cascio before halftime.
- “Conor came in and like Omar I thought he gave us some spark there. You know with Conor that he moves a strong body there, that he gives you a lot of soccer when he receives the ball and he was dangerous in the box. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to score on the option that he had but he and Omar came and created problems for the Galaxy,” said Pareja.
- Cascio, starting his third consecutive match, was forced from the field with an ankle sprain and is listed as questionable on the club’s injury report. The addition of Cummings changed the Rapids’ scheme to a 4-4-2.
- “I think when we switched to two forwards it starting freeing our guys up top and we started getting a lot more looks,” said midfielder Brian Mullan. “I don’t think they did anything special to shut us down, but we didn’t get enough chances and when we did we couldn’t put them away.”
- Away from home, the Rapids have allowed 29 goals, second-most in MLS behind Montréal’s 31. Colorado’s 13 road losses also lead MLS.
- “I thought we gave up a soft goal about halfway through the second half that killed our spirits a little, but we still created chances,” defender Drew Moor said. “Conor got in behind, Omar got in behind a couple times, and those are the little things you have to look for to stay positive off of. We had a couple of corner kicks that we should probably take better advantage of, but in a tough result like this you have to go look for some of those positives.”